Trouble for Nothing 3.0
Friday, December 2, 2011

Finally, a bit of cohesion to the confusion. Mal & Kaylee talk about things. The purple star is still around, and the one that’s dangerous, and doesn’t belong…..saves the day….


Trouble for Nothing, Tricks for Free 3.0

They cultivate the fear, called it a plague, A disease of the rim, so the rumor had said,

The secret lasted for years, all covered and hidden, The Powers that created, denied their decision,

But SHE knew it was they, as it grew like a fever, She could see through the eyes of those touched by the Reavers,

From “Whispers of the Albatross” R. Tam’s ledger : 2517 _______________________________________________________________

She awakened with a startle, the girl. Bad dreams again…….she had no other kind. She looked around the small hut in which she been sleeping. The night was quiet and still. She could hear crickets. Evidently she hadn’t called out this time.

Her brother lay just in the adjoining room. He’d have been there in a flash had she screamed. Proof that although the nightmare had awaken her, she had remained silent.

River sat up in the bed, hardly more than a cot really but she was thankful for something to sleep on. She swung her legs over the side and lightly placed her feet on the floor. The room was earthen, same as the entire abode she found herself in. She was grateful that the Shepherd had taken them in, so that Mal could make a deal with Badger. This time no worries about her brother and herself being spotted on Persephone.

There was a single window, covered by a thin cloth, she could hear the night crawlers singing their songs in the dark.

River was trying to fit together the pieces of the dream that had awaken her. Not because she wanted to remember, but because they meant something. There was the face of a boy, and a young man. She tried to recall the connection, the sense of the dream, if there was sense to be had.

She stood and walked over to the open doorway which led into her brother’s room. She leaned against the doorframe, not entering, but studying. He looked so peaceful for the moment. No worries about curing someone’s illness, or mending a broken leg. She felt something of a peace too, but they both knew that they weren’t here for an extended stay. The Captain would come and get them. Then again it would be back to the nothingness of space. She liked the black. Some folk saw a vast nothingness, she saw the stars.

There was a certain star on her mind in particular, from the dream, stuck in her brain. It caught her attention, a nine pointed purple star.

************ Malcolm Reynolds and Kaylee sat in the ship’s galley of the Chameleon. The Captain looked at his pocket watch.

In an hour he was to meet with Badger. He took a sip of the rich cup of java he held in his hand. He swallowed hard the bitter taste. Not the same as if it had been brewed on Serenity, but they hadn’t been able to bring everything over to the decoy ship. He looked over at his engine mechanic sitting across from him. There were answers he still needed to get from her. Maybe he needed it explained in “Captain Dummy” talk, because he hadn’t been able to understand it all the first time.

“ So again Kaylee, explain to me what happened?”

************ River Tam stood in the doorway of the small brick hut on Haven. She was watching the deep breaths of her brother as he lay sleeping. She was trying to sort out the dream she’d just had.

She thought about herself too, and the academy. There was still a link to that place, in a dark part of her brain. A place that she tried not to visit, but sometimes she didn’t have a choice.

Those folk had done something to her, turned her into something. On the rim she had been called a witch, moon brain, a seer, a reader, a gift, maybe she was all of those things, maybe none. She remained confused about her true nature, but she was sure of one thing, she didn’t have dreams just to have them. The nightmares spoke to her. Forced her to listen. She looked at her brother then thought about the boy she’d dreamed about. Paul Jacob, in some way he and the star were connected, and she, by way of the dream, was attached to them as well. She was determined to recall the connection.

************ He remembered : She dreamed

Years ago………he was a boy then, a young teenager, and living with his folks on Lilac. The morning had been crisp, he’d planned this for weeks. His dad would allow him to go fishing in the swamp, as long as he was back at the village by noon and ready for work.

Paul Jacob was a creative kid. He could build things, yet he could tear them down also. But that was the beauty of creation, you could always start over. Paul was good with a cutting torch, and he could weld and build things out of metal. His father was the same, and he was the one who’d taught his son the craft of medal working. They would repair the farm tools or ranch equipment of the local crop growers or herdsmen on Lilac, and business was good. There was always something that needed fixing.

Today though the boy was going fishing. He had built his own tackle and gear. He was ready to change the weekly evening meal from one of duck or goose to fish. His parents even wished him luck. They were really for a change of diet too.

He made his way out to the swamps, which more or less encircled the township. He would try his chance in the shallower pools first, then progress to the deeper more open waters.

Within a few minutes of his first try he caught a fish. A four pound mud-cat, he was ready to catch more. An hour later things were looking well, he had four fish in the fish-box, yet that was when he began to noticed a distinct smell in the air, something was burning. He looked southward towards the township and could see dark smoke billowing into the sky. Fact was he could see several pyres. He forgot about his quest and headed home in a rush.

Stomping through the marsh was not easy. The route he’d chosen to his fishing hole was surrounded by knee deep water and scrub grass. The cattails and cane kept him from seeing just where the fires exactly were, and what had happened. The closer he approached the more he could tell that his home was one of the structures on fire. Just ten more steps and he would be out of the cane.

Paul made the clearing and the sight that came to his eyes would bring nightmares to him, even now. There were three men standing above his father, that is if you could call them men. They were beings, two arms and two legs and a head, but that was where any resemblance to humanity stopped. Their cloths were ripped and torn, their hair stringy and mangled, and their teeth were as sharp and pointed as the sharks that patrolled the oceans of Bellerophon (he‘d seen pictures in school books). His father lay at their feet, and there was no movement from the man.

The sounds that Paul had made while coming from the swamp had attracted their attention and they all looked in his direction. That was when he saw the faces of monsters, a horrid and evil sight. He was so stunned by what he saw that he was frozen motionless for a few seconds. That image formed an imprinted picture upon his brain. One that he would unwillingly recall till the end of his days.

They made steps towards him and he turned to escape. He retraced the avenue he’d just come from and he could hear the beasts giving chase. They were bigger and faster with more powerful legs, but their size turned into a disadvantage as they sunk deeper in the bog as they pursued him into, in the less solid ground of the marsh.

One was quicker than the others though, and was on Paul before the boy could outdistance him. Paul dove into the waters head first. Here, it was waist deep and surrounded by grass and cane. He could feel the beast grab at him, try to capture him. It caught him around the ankle but he was able to free himself and swim away as quick as the creatures he’d been fishing for.

He surfaced some distance away and stayed hidden in the cane. From there he could see the creature searching for him. The beast was joined by the others and they spent some time hunting. They were unsuccessful. After an hour or so they gave up and returned to the smoking homes of the village. Paul stayed concealed. Fact was he didn’t move all day or night. He didn’t venture out until early the next morning.

He could still see the smoke of the dwindling fires in the distance. He moved towards the township, but cautiously. When he arrived at the village he found no one around. There was blood, lots of blood, but no bodies. He heard the approach of a shuttlecraft and hid in the work-barn. Looking between a crack in the boards he noticed a ship had landed. It had a large purple star painted on it’s side, the “Union Star”. Men with weapons emerged. He saw one turn his head to speak with someone inside the shuttle.

“You said your sister made contact with you and said they were under attack!!?”

“Yes! She said it was Reavers!”

Another man exited the shuttle, Paul recognized his Uncle Charlie.

“ Well, Mr. Two Toes…..I don’t think we made it in time,” the authority said.

************ “How did you come to acquire the medallion Kaylee?” Mal asked.

“Well Cap, all I can tell ya is I got a wave from River two nights before we left the Carrion house to come here on the Chameleon. The decoy was still in the process of being transformed to look like Serenity and the wave said that there was some demolition work being done on the Chameleon’s bridge. It said that I should go there and have Paul Jacob make me a medallion out of part of the support beam that he was taking down. The part with the purple flower on it,” she held out the medallion for Mal’s inspection. He looked at it.

“Nice piece of work,” the Captain said.

Kaylee continued on with her story,

“When we were being inspected this afternoon, I don’t know why, but when I entered the bridge I knew exactly what the Lieutenant was looking for. It seems that River saved our pìgu. Guess there’s some kind of supernatural thing going on there. I can’t explain it.”

“Now don’t start going all ouija board on me Kaylee. I’m sure there’s a reason for this. She’s not getting messages from cats or dogs, or pet parakeets. Just something tipped her off to this is all. Maybe the Shepherd had something to do with it. He is surprisingly well informed about things like this,” with that Mal took a brief moment to contemplate,

“What it is, I’ll find out later. Right now I have to leave and make a deal with a short, little fellow that wears a bowler hat,” with that the Captain stood up from the table and headed out the door to go see Badger.

Kaylee remained in the galley. She wasn’t going to argue the point with the Captain, but this wasn’t the first time River had done something to save their butts. There was that time on Skyplex that the young mechanic hadn’t told anyone about. Kaylee wasn’t a superstitious type person, but sometimes River frightened her.

************ River Tam sat on a swing at Haven. It was midmorning and she was just enjoying the warmth of a beautiful summer day. It had been over a week since she’d sent the message to Kaylee. She hadn’t heard anything back, but she took that as a good sign. She still recalled the image she’d seen of the nine pointed star the other night in her dream. It must have been the same thing Paul Jacob had been seeing as he worked on the Chameleon. She hadn’t grasped it’s meaning but she knew it had been important.

Paul had recognized the star, it had forced him to remember that time, so long ago, then his village had been attacked by Reavers. He also sensed the presents of someone, someone sharing his emotions from that time. He didn’t understand it, but he had a feeling that the young ship mechanic that was a crewmember on Serenity, would soon be visiting him.

River wasn’t certain, but she was connected to Paul in some unexplainable manner, just as she was connected to all the souls that had been touched by Reavers. Maybe this was a mind portal connection that had been caused by the academy? They‘d screwed with her brain, now she couldn‘t escape the images and the nightmares that played in her head. There was a terrible evil growing in the universe. Was it her destiny to destroy it…… the Reavers, or the powers in control? Or, was she as crazy as a moon bug as Jayne kept reminding everyone on the boat? It was hurting her brain thinking about this, so she stopped. Better just to enjoy the sun, the air, and the peacefulness of Shepherd’s world.

She heard the sound of approaching footsteps. She looked up to see Shepherd Book coming towards her, a smile on his face. He took a seat on a swing next to her.

“Got a wave from the Captain,” he began, “said he’d be here inside of a week. Guess you and your brother are ready to head back out into the black, ready to start a new adventure. I just hope that you enjoyed your stay here?”

River looked at the man…..

“I did, but the adventure isn’t over…..”

The Shepherd seemed a little confused by that? He wasn’t sure what she was saying. He looked at River. Like Jayne, Book sometimes felt that the girl didn’t make sense either, yet that was very understandable.

End Part 3


Friday, December 2, 2011 1:11 AM


Hello browncoat friends,

I thought I’d be able to complete this episode, “Trouble for Nothing” in three parts. I was wrong. Looks like it will take four to completely get through the muddle. Hope you stay tuned for chap 4. BPZ

Saturday, December 3, 2011 7:10 AM


I like how this is building up, BPZ, and as far as I'm concerned, you could keep it going for more than 4 chapters if you want. I really liked the details you put in about the boy going fishing: you painted the scene really well. How horrible for him to find that Reavers destroyed everything while he was out in the swamp. One needs to be paying close attention to names in BrucePluto stories--because here is Charlie Two Toes, from part 1, back again in a rather different context. You've got me wondering about his story. I hope you'll let us learn more about it. I am interested in finding out more about the purple star. I also liked how you incorporated the detail of the swing on Haven.

Saturday, December 3, 2011 10:57 AM


Howdy eb……thanks for coming by and posting up. I always enjoy your feedback!

Now…. Sorry to say, but I am the great executioner! By that I mean that likely any fan-fiction characters that I have created, such as Charlie Two Toes, or Paul Jacob are likely to have the existence of their lives be limited to 5 or 6 chapters at best…..(as said with a melancholy grin). Sorry, but those two folk have probably seen the last of their days.

There may be a brief appearance in the final… “Trouble for Nothing chapter 4“, but after that they’ll just join Jubal Early in the darkness of space out there, and be floating around.

Anyoo, thanks again for your comments. I really like your responses. Also, chapter 4, the final will be posted sometime early in the next week, and, is most probably going to be my ending fan-fic for a while. Looks like a lot of work coming down at the place where I’m employed. I would like to explore a “Blue Sun” /“Union Star” connection. May haps at a later time. Anyway, I still enjoy Firefly, and I enjoy reading peoples stories about the verse. keep writing….!

See ya, BPZ

PS: I’ll still be posting, just not any fan-fic…for a time!


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Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part3
Chapter 3 up and running. Some questions answered, and a few more created. Some characters folks may like, some not so much. But Isn’t that the way things really are? Jayne has always wanted to be the commander of his own ship. Mal, unknowingly lets him play for a while……Ok, also, a villain arrives on the scene….boo-hisss, the crowd makes wicked catcalls….BPZ

Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part2
This chapter….not much of a connection to chapter one, but the link is coming. Introducing a few new characters and the meaning and purpose of their mindset. Hope you enjoy and continue to follow….BPZ

Levels of Heaven: Depths of Hell part1
Post BDM. Let’s explore souls…..BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 4.0 final
Serenity finds herself on the last leg of a trip to deliver some well needed goods to Whitefall. Things look to be going rather smooth, but that can fool ya. Something happens …..and Mal finds that he has a war buddy reunion out in the deep pitches of the black….things are gonna get interesting. BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 3.0
Finally, a bit of cohesion to the confusion. Mal & Kaylee talk about things. The purple star is still around, and the one that’s dangerous, and doesn’t belong…..saves the day….

Trouble for Nothing 2.0
Mal, Kaylee and Wash land on Persephone for hull inspection. He shouldn’t feel alarmed, but the Captain is always apprehensive about such things. He’s a little nervous, but remembers the advice of the family physician that used to be his doctor on Shadow. “Just take a sugar pill with your medicine and things will be alright” least that’s what ‘ol Doc Jenkins used to say. Of course Mal ain’t on Shadow anymore….. And his mom didn’t used sugar pills, she used castor oil…. as a chaser for medicine. And for those who are familiar with castor oil…..all I can say is that you have to sit still and let things progress naturally……BPZ

Trouble for Nothing 1.0
Malcolm Reynolds, and his crew find themselves ordered to serve Serenity up for “Verse Travel Compliance”…… or rather, space worthiness inspection, and although there is no reason to be alarmed, having strangers examining his boat does make Mal feel a bit uneasy. This is also a bit of a hassle, but isn’t that what governments are for, to get in a man’s way?

For fic purposes, at this juncture Shepherd Book and Inara are both on their respective worlds. What remains of the crew of Serenity are Kaylee, Jayne, Zoe, Mal, and Simon & River as crew/passengers.

Polished Memories 2.0 - The Mission
Howdy Coats!! Been a while since I’ve been able to jot something down, but here goes. …Continuation of the “ Polished Memories” series, and more of what Mal remembers about the battle of Serenity Valley. We can see that the pain, and suffering, and casualties of war are chipping away at the Captain’s beliefs. Is Mal losing his soul? Only the Shepherd would know the soldier at this point, and maybe his Corporal, Zoe. Read on for clarification….

Polished Memories 1.0- Boot Camp
New approach at mixing things up a little. “Polished Memories” folk trying to sort through their emotions and feelings, and make themselves feel better. Doesn’t always work.

MIA chap5 Final-Clash of the Titans
More like Clash of the bed fleas or dust mites. But that can be a good thing. Being the small guys can keep you off the Alliance radar and have the old bloodhounds barking up the wrong tree. Petty crime can pay well enough, yet not have the Feds crawling up your backside…. Oh yeah, also, Mal & Zoe pick up the heat in this one. I’ll not say more. Maybe Wash does have a reason to be jealous? Hope you enjoy the final of “Missing in Action” BPZ